Vote no or boycott? Egypt opposition undecided as referendum looms (+video)
Anger over a draft constitution popular with Islamists has galvanized Egypt's opposition. But secular opponents of President Morsi still haven't decided what to do about Saturday's referendum.
As thousands of protesters gathered at the presidential palace in Egypt to call for the delay of Saturday's constitutional referendum, the leaders of Egypt's main opposition coalition huddled in meetings, debating strategy.
Should they urge Egyptians to participate in the Dec. 15 referendum and vote against the constitution? Or continue rejecting the vote's legitimacy and protesting, in hopes it will be delayed?
Spurred by President Mohamed Morsi's move to sideline the judiciary and remove checks on his power and his decision to rush a referendum on a controversial constitution, Egypt's opposition has formed its most united front yet, putting aside many of the differences that hobbled it in the past year and a half.
The widespread anger at Mr. Morsi's actions seemed like an opportunity for the opposition to fix its past mistakes.
But now, just days before the vote is to be held, members of the group are still arguing about which strategy to pursue. Some want to maintain the position that the referendum is illegitimate. According to those briefed on the discussions, that camp includes Mohamed El Baradei, the former head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog and a Nobel Peace Prize winner who regularly makes headlines but has minimal sway on the street. Others want to mobilize the grassroots for a vote against the constitution.